Planner: Currently Using

My planner system has changed quite a bit since I last did a post it on. I’ve made a structure change and I moved to a6. I am currently in a VdS Touch Me in Gris Blue. This is one of their new colours. I plan to do a full review of it in due course.

My actual system hasn’t changed too much since September when I started using A6 size. I have a very traditional bullet journal. I am using a Rhodia Graph paper pad that I have ripped apart and hole punched (rather unsuccessfully as it’s not very straight!).

My Bullet Journal largely follows the traditional system.

At the start of the month I write the numbers for the month out and the corresponding days and I fill in information from my future log.

Then at the start of the week (because the new year began on a Sunday I have switched to a Sunday start, it’ll be interesting to see if I like this…) I write out a weekly tracker which I will fill in for the week.

Underneath that I start directly with my dailies. I just write the day and then log everything for the day.

What I really like about this system is the flexibility. My first daily was nearly two pages long with all the to dos and lists I wanted to keep track on in my planner. I love that I am able to write everything down and it is in there. I like that there is a place where I can record anything and everything in whatever order I want it to.

I don’t tend to migrate tasks over to each new day as that is such a waste of time, effort, ink and paper. So instead I tend to flick through and look for open tasks I need to complete and only transfer them to a new month if they have not yet been completed and are still relevant. There are of course a few downsides to this method – it can become a little cluttered looking and it can be quite hard to focus with so many bits of information around the place. It doesn’t always bother me until I really need to focus and get tasks done on a set day. On those days I find it best to start the day with a very simple outline of places I have to be and tasks I have to complete. I will migrate these to the set day and try to give myself a realistic number of 3-5 tasks depending on the complexity of the tasks, to ensure that there is enough time for me to complete them. Then I just shut everything else off and focus. I find this method works really well.

I like that I don’t have to design and print out loads of pages, if I want a new page I just write it. I love that the paper I use is fountain pen friendly and I can write with my new found obsession (more to come on this topic in the future…). I tend to change my ink up once a month to have some variety and use up my growing collection of ink. Unlike traditional bullet journalling which is done in a bound notebook, I love that I have control to move pages around and take them out as I need to. I like that I can flick the page over and start writing a new collection – but then I can move collections towards the back on my planner to keep them in alphabetical order so it is easier to find them. My monthly, weekly and the start of my collections are marked with the coolest paperclips in the world. They are of the Ampelmann – he is the East German crossing man, complete with hat. He is really cute and I am obsessed with him (a fact my lovely penpal Nicole knew and she sent my these cute paper clips!).

I find this is a great system for me and allows me the flexibility of having a daily when I perhaps wouldn’t need a full page each day. It is the ultimate brain dump as I can just throw everything at it and not worry about it looking pretty or having enough room!

*I was going to have photos with this post buy unfortunately a rather nasty flu has crept up on me. I am instead going to tease you all silly and leave it without photos until the next time I bring up my planner!*

Filofax: Getting ready for 2016!

I’ve only really been interested in making inserts and really getting into my Filofax since August. Since then I’ve made loads of my own inserts, experimented and had a lot of fun with it! So I’m really looking forward to the new one because it’ll be my first full year with my own inserts and really maximising the potential of my planner. So I’m getting excited setting it up. So this post it all about what’s making it into my 2016 Planner!

What am I using?
Well Autumn/Winter seems to have been the time everyone pulled out their beautiful Ochre Maldens and snapped absolutely beautiful photos of them. I feel in love with the Brown and it just looked so vintage and beautiful. I managed to get a super great deal on one, so I picked it up. This will be my 2016 planner for at least the beginning of the year, I may switch back into my Aqua Original later in the year.


So what’s in it.

  • Dividers

I have an array of several dividers that I made myself and reflect mostly historical themes and things I am interested in. I feel they reflect me and I really enjoy them. I will eventually write a blog on how I made these!


  • Personal Information

I dislike the filofax personal information pages. I find I only fill out a tiny bit of it because some of it just doesn’t apply to me. I also dislike how personal information on the back of the English page is French, whilst German appears on the Third page. So I’ve made my own. It has English on the front and German on the back and contains information that is relevant to me.

  • Week on two pages

I’ve done a post on these before and shown people how to make a similar version which could be completely adapted to make the same ones I have. They have the bullet journal style to do list on the left and the week on one page on the right. I have impressed myself by being organised enough to print all of them out for the year!


  • Monthly pull out

Again, I have a post on these. They’ve not changed at all.


  • Finance tracker

This is a very simple design. I have a ton of Filofax graph paper so rather than wasting it I just drew some lines on it to make a finance tracker. The first column, I counted five squares in drew a line, this acts of the date I ordered/paid for the item. Then at the opposite side of the page I have a column with one full square, this acts as a tick box to say I have received the item I have ordered – great for tracking delivery of online orders. Next to it I have a column of six squares for the cost. I have another date column of 5 squares which represents the day I am supposed to receive the item – I usually put the end date of the range. That way I can chase the order if it is taking longer than expected. The last column is the longest and it’s just for giving a description of what it is the actual item. I write each month in a different colour so I can see what I am buying each month.

  • German word of the day

Although I have my German word of the day in a mini, sometimes when I want to work on them my mini, which is my wallet is in my back or it’s not as accessible as my personal binder. My personal binder is normally close to hand if it is in my bag as soon as my bag gets put in the cupboard I get the personal out and put it next to me. So I figured I would get one of those top opening envelopes and just slot the week into them. When they are filled I will transfer them back to the Malden.

  • Journal Pages

I am hoping to set up my Original Jack as a journal for this year, but I figured that carrying multiple planners around would not work for me so I have decided to keep some places of completely blank personal paper within this planner as a quick place where I can write some of my journal. Then I will transfer them once the page is complete to my Original Jack to store them in.

  • Other items

These are generic list items, the template for each one is the same I’ve just changed the title. I have various lists:
– Blog ideas
– Books I would like to read
– Films I would like to watch
– Things I would like to do
– TV Shows I would lie to watch
– The Book Challenge, 100 Greatest books everyone should read from an article in the Guardian.

I always hate when I go to watch do something – watch a film, go do something and have no idea what I want to do, when there are always occasions I say I want to do X, Y and Z. So hopefully these inserts will act as a springboard for times when I do not know what to do!



Slightly different in design:
– Food inventory, so I can see what I have got in my freezer/cupboards and meal plan without having to go into the freezer and ferret around.
– Weight tracker


  • Note Paper

Finally I have my trusty note paper, this is just all the yellow paper I have, I have other colours from Filofax put I just put in one colour for now.

That’s my ready for 2016! I’m really looking forward to the new year so I can get myself even more organised.

My Filofaxes: Personal Dark Aqua Original


This is the third post in this series…if you can call it that. Up today is my most used filofax. As I’ve already explained I have three main filofaxes. My mini Malden I use as a wallet, my a5 original which I use as a work/research binder and finally today my main planner.

In terms of order of purchase this is my middle planner. I got the A5 first and the Mini Malden last. When I recieved my A5 I was impressed by the colour and the quality of the binder. I was really tempted to use it as an everyday planner. The problem is it is just too big and bulky. I began to toy with the idea of getting it in a personal size…but I thought at about £60 for a personal size I couldn’t really justify spending that…not after I had just bought the A5.

However that didn’t mean that I couldn’t window shop for the personal planner. After all, I did get my A5 at 50% off…if you thought that was a good deal you’ll love this deal even more. I got a massive 66% of it! I got it at Nigel O’Hara, and I don’t know if there was a fault with the system because almost immediately after buying it the price went up and the discount was something like 30% off. I told myself I was just going to window shop…but at that price I couldn’t resist it. I am very pleased I bought it at that price, it was certainly a treasured find…and probably the cheapest filofax I own (I can’t remember how much I paid for one of them but that’s for another blog).

When I commented about getting this filofax on the Facebook group – I got a comment from someone saying I can’t believe someone is stupid enough to order from that website, they are terrible – or words to that effect. I don’t normally get negative feedback on the facebook group and I was a bit miffed by it. But Nigel O’Hara were fantastic, delivery was super fast (I think I ordered it on Friday and it was here by the Tuesday morning) and arrived in perfect condition. The additional inclusion of some a 2015 week on two pages Filofax inserts was funny, as it already came with 2015 Week on two page Filofax inserts. I’m not sure if they put them in by mistake meaning to have 2016, or whether they were just getting rid of old 2015 stock. Either way the additional laugh was welcomed. It doesn’t bother me that they didn’t give me 2016 inserts…but my hatred of filofax inserts would have prevented me from using them anyway. I would definitely recommend using Nigel O’Hara and don’t be put off about what people say. If you buy online you are protected by Paypal and your bank so it’s always worth a try. The UK has really good laws on buyer online and your rights as a consumer – I recommend you read up on those, because I have in the past had sellers try and catch me out, but I drew attention to my legal rights and they would also sought out the problem. I am super pleased with this Filofax. I think if I had to choose between my Filofaxes I’d really struggle between my Mini and this one.

But let’s get down to the actual planner itself…
I have still not finished setting it up. I would still like to add dividers and personalise it a little bit…but at the moment this is a low priority. I am still working out finding out what makes it work for me and until I have found that I am going to leave the blue/green Filofax dividers in place.


Section one holds the usual suspects for a filofax. Mostly my contact details, my penpal addresses and a calendar.

Section two is my diary. My diary is split into two. I have the months for this year and next year printed on a two months per page. This are actually folded out. So it’s effectively a month on two pages (in terms of size) but on a z-fold pull out. My photo probably explains it way better than I found. I have two months on it, one each side. I quite like this set up. When I am on the even month…so February, April etc. That insert goes in front of my weekly pages. Which means impressively I can have say February open my weekly open and the March open as well, which I really like. I made these monthlies myself and I will eventually post a tutorial on how to make them…but for the moment I am super swamped with blog posts to write and do not always seem to have the time to write them. Hopefully this weekend I can bash a load out! These inserts are a bit bulky but I am not really someone who overstuffs my planner. My bag is a vintage Gladstone bag which has a metal frame. It is HEAVY. So I don’t want to carry around additional bulk. So streamlined planners are the future…and the present.

My other diary section is my week on two pages. It’s effectively a week on one page which I like to put on the right. I am left handed so I can take this page out, fill it in on the Sunday before, decorate it and then put it back in my planner. That way I am not constantly fighting with the rings and I shouldn’t have to worry too much because the important bits are written in. The left hand side is dedicated to a bullet journal style list thing. It acts as a brain dump and gives me the ability to keep a track of my open to dos. I’m not going to go too in depth about what I use my month and week pages for…i think that would make this post too long. So let’s keep ploughing through to…


Section three which is my finance section. It houses a modern shopping list which mostly tracks what oils I would like to buy for soap making. It also has the name of a stationary company and a stamp company I like. That way if I don’t need to buy it immediately and someone wants to know what to get me for Christmas or Birthday I can just look at the list. I also have a spend tracker. This records everything I spend in a given month. Every penny is accounted for. I pick a different colour each month so it is easy to see different months and I just monitor my spending. It is broken down into the date I bought it, a description of what it is. Whether I am waiting on it to be delivered and a delivery date, the cost of the item and finally a tick column for when I’ve recieved it…if it was something that was being delivered.

Section 4 is notes. I have a blog idea one…which is mostly redundant because I actually just created a load of titled posts on my blog and saved them as a draft. This is useful though if I am on the go and I don’t have access to my blog…which is almost never as my blog is also on my phone…my phone is permanently glued to my hand. I have a list for things my history group have suggested we do. This one is more useful as I have ideas from many different platforms so I do need a central list. This is that central list. Next I have a 100 greatest books you should read. I started reading the first one in August and it is an awful book. I am refusing to be defeated by it…but I’m not winning either. So that list just sits there. Next I have my own books I would like to read list…followed closely by a films list. I have a freezer inventory – I did try meal planner and it worked well for a week but then I stopped doing it. I am going to go back to that next week and start to make my way through my freezer list. Then I just have notes from a meeting and a phone call.


Section five is my last section and it houses blank paper. I then have at the back of my planner my little jotter pad which is useful for random notes when I don’t want to waste a sheet of paper. I also have a transparent pocket which houses some stamps, plasters and a memento old fashioned clocking in card from when I went to the Coffin works museum in Birmingham.


That’s my main workhorse. It works quite well for me and I don’t really see myself changing anything too drastically. I don’t really need to add another section into it. I will just eventually upgrade the dividers and the contact section.

My Filofaxes: A5 Dark Aqua Original (My University and language set up)


I have never been a big fan of A4. I have always preferred to write in an a5 binder. I use to keep one of those plastic a5 folders for college and university work. However, when I went to replace it last year because it was looking tatty I had a hard time trying to locate a replacement. Rymans – the company I had bought my old one from only sold them in packs of 10 online and you couldn’t get them in store. I am also not a big fan of the WH Smith ones because they just seem wonky and not aligning straight. So I gave up trying to find a replacement and stuck with my old tatty folder.

Then I rediscovered Filofaxes (I didn’t really forget about them but I was under using my current one). I came across a lovely A5 Dark Aqua Original in WH Smith, and whilst it was a lot more than I was planning to pay for a replacement folder, it was 50% off. It was a good deal and I thought it would last a lot longer than a traditional folder and look a bit more professional. The other was also fabulous so I went for it. I also bought two a5 pads with it, one lined and the other plain. I was not impressed with how these came, particularly with the plain one, it was all bashed and pages were falling out. It was also terrible to print on it and my printer spat out more pages than it printed. It much prefers the paper I currently use to print on (even if I cut it to a5). So I will not repurchase the plain paper again, I might with the lined but we’ll have to see.

The dark aqua is a wonderful shade and I love the matt finish, which I find easier to maintain than the patient finish. It also feels nicer than a patent. It’s a wonderfully smooth leather and the contrasting white stitching gives it a simple but classy style. Inside you have nice big rings, 25mm – which is not as big compared to other a5 filofaxes but I don’t feel like I am missing out on size here. It holds alot. It comes with a jotter pad which slots into a slit in the back of the filofax. It has two folds perfect for storing a4 paper folder in half that you need to punch at a later date. It doesn’t have pockets as such – just two slits for cards. At the moment I don’t use these, but in my Personal I store flag markers in one of them. It comes with an elastic – which I really like. I use that to house a square sticky note in. It has two pen loops. I find this fits my Faber-Castell Grip pen in comfortably. I do not use the other one before I find it adds too much bulk, but occasionally I will add my BIC 4 way pen into it.

I use this filofax to house my University work and my German language work in (as I need German for my university so it makes sense to keep them together). I’ve not really put this Filofax to work at the moment, it’s mostly just a bare bones structure, so I will probably do an updated what’s in it when I’ve used it a bit more. At the moment it is divided into 5 sections. Which are marked by the standard blue/green Filofax dividers. I would really like to upgrade these dividers but for the moment with the cost of a new planner and things I am pacing myself and trying to get a feel for what I want in my planner – then I will do suitable dividers.


My planner starts with the traditional fly leaf and the Original made in the UK that comes with the filofax. I don’t at the moment have my information in this planner (I have just added a to do note to make sure it goes in).


Section 1 is dedicated to my first module which is about Life in the two Germanies from 1945-1990. It has my module guide, my reading lists, essay titles, sample exam paper etc. That’s it for the moment but when I start typing up my notes it will also have those, as well as relevant sources for exams and a timeline.

Section 2 is much the same as the first one but this time it’s for the Representation of the Third Reich and the Holocaust in film.

Section 3 is my dissertation which is on Criminals in Concentration Camps during the Holocaust. It has my proposal and my progress reports in it. It has a reading list or books I would like to consult. When I am reading I like to keep that one out so I can just jot relevant books down that I want to consult later. I have a notes section as well. Because my sources are in German and our often handwritten I tend to prefer to keep these in electronic format because it is easier to manipulate the image (sometimes turning an image into a negative makes it easier to read the handwriting).


Section 4 is for my German. I started my first formal german classes last Wednesday so at the moment this just houses my notes from my first class. I made rough notes and then wrote them up neatly in my planner. I will develop this section as and when I need it and may do a separate post on it at some point.

Section 5 – is just blank lined paper.

The jot pad I think is a really useful feature. I have the opportunity to leave my bag and filofax in a lockable centre so I can just write down the books I want to consult (usually Author, Title and Shelf reference) in the jotter pad and take that other to the library – without having to carry everything else. I don’t feel I need to baby my planner. It just goes in my bag. It does however have a carry case, it’s not so much for protection it’s more because when I need my A5 I also often need my dictaphone and my German textbook so rather than these being separated I keep them together in the one pouch. That way when I don’t need to take it anywhere I just pull it out of my bag and leave it together until I need it again. Simple and easy. The pouch is just something I found lying around in my house. I think it was a Clinque gift with purchase. It doesn’t exactly match my personality nor my filofax but it does its job amicably enough.


That’s it for the moment – not very interesting but I will write a new one maybe at the beginning of March to see how I’ve progressed with it and how I do my revision with it.

My Filofaxes: Mini Grey Malden

I currently have three filofaxes on the go at the moment – everyone of them is different and holds different information; so I do not duplicate anything in them. I’m fairly new to getting into serious planning, I dabbled in the past but underused the potential of my planner. All that changed when I discovered Philofaxy.

So first up is my newest addition (although I do have one on the way so it won’t be new for long) my mini Filofax Malden.

I was really undecided about whether I should get a pocket or a mini Malden. It was very difficult to decide as nowhere in Birmingham (despite it being the second city in the UK!) stocked a Malden – in any size or colour! This greatly annoyed me. I wanted a planner I could use as a wallet, a travel journal, a note taker. Something that would allow me to leave my bag behind stick this is my jeans pocket (it was just still summer at the time) and be good to go without the bulk. It would be a wallet and planner in one.

The size of the mini really appealed to me but I thought it would be too impractical – it looks so small after all. One of the things I really wanted from it was to be able to keep my passport in it. I’m planning to go to Berlin and driving licenses are not valid forms of ID in Germany, so I would need to take my passport ideally. I asked on Filofax for Philofaxy Fans and at least someone said their passport really made their mini look…well mini. Someone kindly put their passport into the back pocket of the mini (normally used for money or receipts) and it looked uncomfortable. Someone also put their pocket Malden into their jeans pocket – and it was proof it could be done! However I don’t think it would be comfortable with my tight jeans as my thins already have a hard time fitting in them – without a pocket Malden to contend for space!

I saw a really good deal for a ochre Malden on Ebay and I thought I’ll have a think about it – it was such a good deal that everyone else went and got one and I missed out! So I decided to go for a Malden Mini in Grey from a company in Germany. It was a very good price – the shipping was the only thing putting me off but even with the shipping I still got a good deal on it. I like that it is grey…my bag is a vintage style gladstone bag in brown and I thought getting the orche malden would complement it more – but I love the grey. It’s a much more unusual colour because it has been discontinued and I like how well it goes with my dark aqua originals. It’s classy and professional looking too.

It arrived at the end of August and this is the photo of it as I unboxed it. It looked tiny but it was so beautiful. I can understand why people really like the Malden and whilst I am an Original girl when it comes to the bigger planners I do love my little Malden. I was surprised by the Malden – Originals are so smooth they feel wonderful. This is more textured, but I am tore as to which I prefer more. It has more of a leather smell than my original (maybe that’s because my original is slightly older?) I don’t like the smell all that much. It comes with 13mm rings – which is tiny you can’t hold a lot of paper in there, I have a full 2016 diary, but inserts from August to the end of the year. I have a couple of lined papers and a couple of blank pages I cut myself. I also store a coin purse on the loops. I could probably fit a little more on there but I am not one to overstuff my planners, so I will leave it at that. I love the size. It looks so nice in my hands. It is the perfect size and I am glad I picked it over the pocket.


When I opened I knew that I had made the right choice because the inserts were in German and the seller had very kindly put in a 2016 German week on two pages as well. I hadn’t planned to use the inserts but when they came in German how could I not? I currently use them for a German word of the day. I use an app on my phone to give me a word of the day and I use to write them in my personal Filofax. Now it gets a Filofax all for itself.

I tried to use the coin pocket that came with it, but I use public transport a lot and although I have a swipe card, topping it up is not all that convenient so sometimes I need to carry change. I felt like the zipped pocket was not big enough. So I looked for one of those PVC zip lock inserts you get for personal and pocket sizes – alas they do not do one for a Mini! I was tempted by buying a pocket one – but it just wouldn’t fit. Luckily I found a template on how to make a fabric purse for your Filofax. So I made (*cough* confession…my mum made it – but I had every intention of making it – she just didn’t trust me with her sewing machine!) a zip purse for it.

imageA funny fact is that in the making of this purse my mum put the plastic fly leaf to close to the iron – which wrinkled it. So she secretly ironed it to make it flat ok – only this shrunk the Filofax page. That is my it looks like the loops do not align with the rings – because the template was wrong. With the fabric, zip and cord for the purse it costed out at £2.70ish, and I have another over to make at least three if not more from the fabric I got (I’d need to buy a new zip and cord though).

I’ve ordered a pen and a pencil that are small enough to fit in the Mini. I’ve put the pencil in the zip compartment and the pen fits nicely in the pen loop. I have taken my keys off their keyring and I’ve put them in the zip compartment also. The side pockets fit my cards. The back pocket has receipts and cash notes. I added what was my keyring for my house keys on it as well. And I’m pleased to report – although it cannot fit a passport in any of the pockets – you can rest it in the planner and still close the flap. And it doesn’t stretch the filofax or make it look uncomfortable. It is also not floppy, like other people report – although I think that is mostly due to it’s size and the fact I have cards in it – It is quite comfortable to right in with just a leg as a desk.

I was worried that my KW trio hole punch wouldn’t be able to work with my Mini – it can go down to pocket and although Pocket and Mini have the same hole space I was worried I’d end up with the 6th hole (needed for a pocket but not for a mini) but I am pleased to report my hole punch works without a problem. I’ve made printed notes for the mini and they’ve worked like a charm. I am very happy with this planner. I don’t think I’ll change much more with this set up – I would like to add maybe a cover photo at the beginning, probably something related to Germany to go with the German theme of diary. I would also like to laminate a couple of cue cards – such as cases and the alphabet sounds. So emergency things like police in Germany and basic quick phrases if I am in a panic and need to contact someone, but other than that. I don’t see it changing very much. I recently took some friends on a guided tour of my second favourite city (Leicester), and I made some notes about the history of certain buildings. I printed these out and put them in my filofax. My friend enjoyed my tour so much he stole the notes…but I would have only thrown them away anyway.